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1-20-22 — January 2022 Awards

Jan. 20, 2022

Teachers Receive Honor of National Board Certification

Alisha Morris, Olathe West High School theater teacher, has achieved the highest professional credential a teacher can earn: a certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Morris has taught for nine years and is proud to represent Olathe Public Schools on a national level.

"Alisha has shown an incredible dedication to her craft of the arts and theater through the rigorous process in order to be nationally certified,” her principal, Jay Novacek said. “This designation is a reflection of what we witness each day as Alisha works with our students at Olathe West. I am proud of Alisha and her accomplishment for completing this difficult and rare feat.”

Lisa Frahm, Manchester Park Elementary fifth grade teacher, has received her renewal of the National Board Certification. Renewal ensures that nationally board-certified teachers are continuing to align with the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards’ core principles in their certificate area. Frahm is in her 37th year of teaching and is honored by the renewal of her certificate.

"Lisa Frahm is an outstanding teacher who exhibits her love for teaching every single day,” Manchester Park Elementary principal Jenny Steele said. “Every visit to Lisa’s classroom shows students engaged and excited about content and the instructional activities she implements. Her enthusiasm for the success of students and fellow colleagues shines through daily.”

National board certification takes from one to three years to complete and is recognized nationwide as a model for identifying accomplished teaching practice.

Prairie Trail Staff Wins Three ECKMEA Awards

The East Central Kansas Music Educators (ECKMEA) Association awarded three Prairie Trail Middle School staff members. Erin Stewart, choir director, won the Outstanding Middle Level Choir Educator Award. Jena McElwain, band director, won the Outstanding Middle Level Band Educator Award. Finally, Assistant Principal Jennifer Stoskopf won the Honor Administrator Award.

Outstanding Educator Awards are given to staff members who go above and beyond for their students, continually show improvement and success in their specific area of education and have been teaching for at least 10 years. The Honor Administrator Award recognizes administrators who have demonstrated continuing leadership in developing, improving, and supporting music education.

Stewart, McElwain and Stoskopf received their awards at the ECKMEA Mini-Convention in December.

Olathe Schools Ranked by National Magazine

Several Olathe elementary, middle and high schools are among the top 25 public schools in Kansas to be ranked by U.S. News & World Report for its 2021 Best Schools Rankings by state. Schools are ranked on their performance on state-required tests, graduation, and how well they prepare their students for high school. U.S. News & World Report used data from official third-party sources to rank the high schools within their own district, metropolitan area, state and nationwide.

  • Regency Place Elementary School ranked 11th overall among Kansas elementary schools.
  • Prairie Trail Middle School ranked 6th overall among Kansas middle schools.
  • California Trail Middle School ranked 22nd overall among Kansas middle schools.
  • Olathe Northwest High School ranked 5th overall among Kansas high schools.
  • Olathe North High School ranked 18th overall among Kansas high schools.
  • Olathe East High School ranked 20th overall among Kansas high schools.

Olathe High Schools Place at State Thespian Festivals

At the Kansas Thespians State Thespian Festival in early January, Olathe Public Schools had representatives from all five high schools with over 150 students in attendance. This year’s festival was led by the State Thespian Officers, which included Olathe North High School senior Chase Ellis and Olathe East High School junior Ellie Eisele. Olathe Public Schools has been represented on the State Thespian Officer board for the past five years.

At the festival, International Thespian Excellence Awards are given in categories including Solo and Group Acting/Musical Theatre, Lighting and Sound Design, Stage Management, Costume Design, and Construction, among others with Superior being the highest honor. Thirty-three superior awards were given to Olathe students. Students who earn a superior at state qualify for the International Thespian Festival, which takes place in June.

To end the weekend, Olathe swept two of the festival's exclusive competition events in Creative Costumes and Competitive Charades. Olathe North placed first and second in Creative Costumes, with Olathe East taking third. In Competitive Charades, Olathe South High School took first, Olathe East took second, and Olathe Northwest High School took third.

East Student Named Finalist in Boys & Girls Clubs Program

Ta’Niyha Brown-Robinson, Olathe East High School senior, has been named the 2022 Olathe Unit Youth of the Year by the Olathe Boys & Girls Club, which makes her a finalist for the Greater Kansas City Youth of the Year. As Olathe’s representative, she will serve as a role model, brand ambassador, and thought leader on key issues by telling her inspiring personal story of her experience with the Boys & Girls Club of America at speaking engagements. She was selected because of her leadership, service, academic excellence, and healthy lifestyle that the Boys & Girls Club values. Brown-Robinson will be honored at the 2022 Youth of the Year Celebration in early February, which will highlight the six local finalists and award the Greater Kansas City Youth of the Year.